IMAGINE YOU ARE SITTING ALONE AT THE FIRE, and you start telling an interesting story. It is so interesting that from time to time a person sits down. You continue, you start to hand out sausages, and every now and then someone puts a sausage on a stick and cooks it. At some point, you stop and watch your companions as they sit, eat and talk. Leads start nurturing, they consume!
Leads are people
If the same situation is translated into marketing situations, the case looks as follows. You are a seller and you want people to buy your product. The product, in this case, a sausage, is something customers have to consume. The focus is on your company, where you sit alone at the beginning. For others to reach for a sausage — they need to be in the right place. So you start the story — not necessarily about sausages. Because people just like good stories; they like to be where something interesting is happening.
That moment of sitting at a shared fire, listening to your story, marketers call “nurturing leads”. It is building an atmosphere that allows customers to stay connected with the brand and trust it. On the internet, the key for this process is content marketing. The client reads the blog of the company, acquires knowledge from newsletters, listens to podcasts, watches videos, tracks social channels, and so on. What is happening? The customer feels that on the other side is not only someone who wants to sell them things but that there is an expert from who it is worth to buy from.
Heating at the top of the funnel
This way of talking about “nurturing leads” is also referred to as a “sales funnel”. The process leading to a purchase can be pictured as an expanding upward funnel. At the very top, there are many potential customers but not everyone will venture inside. This is where the first-order content marketing works — here we sit at a shared bonfire.
Will everyone reaches for a sausage? Not necessarily. Many at this point will end their adventure with just knowing about the brand. There are many other stages between the moment of interest to the purchase of a product. And during this often long time, marketers are trying to outdo each other with ideas for bringing the customer closer to purchasing the product. What then?
How Fresh Mail entices me
You are probably at the top of many sales funnels on the internet right now, even though you may not be aware of it. Due to my interest in marketing and want to mail out a newsletter, I decided to check out several email marketers. The one that won me over was Fresh Mail, which encouraged me to stay in touch and were willing to share their knowledge with me. What has Fresh Mail done for me?
- I have a free account, where I can test their solution for 30 days.
- I receive a newsletter with attached e-books, allowing me to find out everything about aspects of the package with suggested solutions. The RODO e-book was very valuable, showing with specific examples, how to prepare messages for clients, to comply with Polish law, but at the same time to write them without being completely boring or stiff.
- I received a free e-mail course from which I could learn e-mail marketing practices.
- I received an e-book with an analysis regarding the time of sending e-mails, statistics of visits and clicks.
- Fresh Mail also has a well-run website where one can find a lot of useful information.
What did I do for Fresh Mail? I started to share interesting content from Fresh Mail on my Twitter account. So what do I really do? It is not so much that I bake the sausage myself — rather I invite others to this fire.
Even if, finally, I do not decide to buy sitting in this sales funnel — having good content at my disposal provided by this company — I am happy to share it with others.
Content, not advertising
The metaphor of the sales lead that falls into the funnel has a negative factor — it looks like a trap. The title “nurturing” can also raise doubts. The Polish language sees these concepts a little emotionally, when in fact it is really just describing the process of matching needs with answers to these. The products we sell most often respond directly to the needs of our clients and solve their problems.
In an era when valuable content on the internet is most important and less and less advertising, many will be looking for their “story-teller by the fire”. Those who start talking must first learn the art of storytelling, about which I will write many times on this blog. Storytelling also served me during the writing of this article 😉
It is worth following how you can creatively educate your audience, how to transfer knowledge — how to build relationships so that the final product sold satisfies the customer, leaving them wanting more.
The graphics for this article were done by Wiesia Ruta